Tuesday 23 April 2024

Keep It in the Family - John Marrs

In this thrilling novel from bestselling author John Marrs, a young couple’s house hides terrible secrets—and not all of them are confined to the past.

Mia and Finn are busy turning a derelict house into their dream home when Mia unexpectedly falls pregnant. But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a shocking message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their home was once a real-life murder house, with the evidence still concealed within the four walls.

In the wake of their traumatic discovery, the baby arrives and Mia can’t shake her fixation with the monstrous crimes that happened right above them. Tormented by the terrible things she saw, she is desperate to dig into the past to find answers.

Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family—but will the previous tenants stop her from discovering their secret?

What did I think?

Keep It in the Family is another cracking novel from the Master of Shocking Twists, John Marrs.  What a dark and twisted mind you have, Mr Marrs! 

The story is told from several points of view and brilliantly interspersed with excerpts from various media such as newspapers, TV documentaries and even an autopsy report.  Mia never really settled into the Hunter family after she married Debbie and Dave's only son, Finn.  Not matching up to Finn's perfect ex-girlfriend and failing to produce a grandchild doesn't help her case with the in-laws.  Mia and Finn's relationship is strong though, isn't it?  

Mia and Finn's relationship is well and truly tested when they buy an old house and Mia finds out that she's pregnant.  Their own home and a much wanted baby should be the stuff that dreams are made of but, as this is a John Marrs book, it turns into a nightmare.  The gruesome discovery in the attic sets off a chain of events that keep the pages turning at a rate of knots until all of the secrets are revealed.

So fast-paced I'm surprised I didn't have blisters on my fingers as I whipped the pages over at full speed, Keep It in the Family is deliciously dark and incredibly twisted.  This is a book that you will be up all night reading once you pick it up, which is just as well as the disturbing plot will give you nightmares.  Very highly recommended.

I received a gifted paperback for the Tandem Collective readalong and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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